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The Development and Control of Chemical and Biological Warfare The year 600 BC Solon the legislator of the Athenians contaminated the River Pleisthenes with hellebores skunk cabbage to give the defenders of Kirrha violent diarrhea leading to their defeat This is the first recorded use of plants as a source of chemicals for warfare Although not very well known chemical and biological warfare has been used for over 2000 years Chemical and Biological warfare has made a vast change since 600 BC and has evolved into one of the most advance and destructive types of warfare known to man Russell 1998 There are many reasons why chemical and biological warfare is so effective Throughout the medieval times Cadavers were catapulted over castle and fortress walls Disease would spread within the enclosed walls Cadavers were also placed up stream and the inhabitants of the fortress would drink the deadly microorganism infested water Biological and Chemical weapons are very inexpensive It does not take a very sophisticated industrial base to produce lethal chemicals This makes it a viable means of warfare for Third World countries The use of chemical weapons by Iraq and Libya in 1988 reinforces the danger that these weapons will spread Cass 1996 Not only are these weapons cheap but they are very effective Defense Secretary William S Cohen held up a five-pound bag of sugar on national television last month to show how with an equivalent amount of anthrax Iraq could eliminate at least half the population of Washington The US Law Enforcement Assistance Administration reported in March 1977 that a single ounce of anthrax introduced into the air-conditioning system of a domed stadium could infect 70-80000 spectators within an hour Hardy 1998 In January 1998 the Center for Disease Control declared that an epidemic hit Miami Florida Doctors have not yet diagnosed the specific cause of the disease but the illness initially resembled a chest cold that progresses
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